"Everything seems to be in order. Alright. Dismiss". Said Ashford, many people leave to begin their respective assignments.
Abner, Davis, and Willard were about to leave.
"Captain Abner, Sergeant Davis" Ashford called their attention.
The two brothers and Willard turned around and salute their officer.
"At ease gentlemen," said Ashford as he smiled to see them, let's go back to the business.
"Captain Abner" Ashford called out.
"I thank you for everything you have done so far, Captain". After that, he offers his hand to Abner to congratulate him, as he heard his officer's praises, Abner smiled and shakes his hand gleefully.
"I am honored by your praises, General Ashford. But am still not worthy". As Davis placed his left hand on Abner's head, Abner murmured, causing Ashford to beam.
"That is why you earned this, my boy". Ashford exclaimed and he forgot that he has something else to do, he smiled and left.
Leaving the three behind and they too left.
Lying on his bed, not knowing what to do. New responsibilities, stress, and immense pressure weighing down on his shoulders. Staring at the ceiling, jumbling thoughts. He heard knocking on the door, and get up from his bed. "Come in," said Abner, as the door opened and saw Davis enter while closing the door behind him.
"How are you doing brother". Davis asked while opening the folder that he carried on his side, Abner smiled and replied
"Fine. Just, you know. New responsibilities, more like a Tuesday". Davis chuckled and placed the folder on Abner's side of the bed. Abner looks at the folder, he opened it as he saw many papers about the mission.
"It's all there, the layouts, routes, anything you need," said Davis, he saw his brother massaging his temples.
"Tell me something that I don't know". Questioned Abner as he analyzes the papers carefully.
"Hieham, five months ago. This city fell from infected hands, and it is also our next point of operations. However, this city was a gateway between Aresridge and Phourton cities. However, the zombies moved north for God I don't know-how. Inside of Hieham, we are going to enter the Hocid Hills district first, the 88th company will set up the perimeter outside of Hieham before clearing the district. Yet, there's a problem". Explained Davis.
"What problem". Asked Abner as he continues analyzing the map.
"There are three cities that connect every corner of the streets within Hocid Hills, these were Guft North, Scasc Plaza, and East Setin". Reported, much disappointment from Abner. Davis wiped the sweat from his forehead, everything sank in.
When Davis noticed something wrong with Abner, he asked.
"I swear to God if we survive again this operation, you know what I mean, Nathan".
"Amen brother, to be honest with you. I think this operation will fail anytime soon".
"No, but, this time. It's different, unlike previous operations".
"I don't know but, no".
As Abner still massaging his temples while placing the folders on the table beside his bed, Davis takes off his hat and sits beside his brother.
"One hella of a job, Nathan, one hella of a job".
"Aye, it all makes sense then".
"Are you okay?"
"Never been better"
"Hmph, just another Tuesday night alright"
"Yeah, another Tuesday night"
"So, when are you going to tell her?"
This caught Abner off guard, he knew what Davis meant.
"Her?" Abner asked; however, Davis snickered this question.
"Maia" Davis clarified to Abner as he saw his brother smile when he heard the name of the girl. They both chuckled while Abner went to the drawer and opened it, he motioned Davis to look at the open drawer. Davis stands up, leaning toward the drawer, and saw two letters with wonderful designs. They smiled at each other and Davis went back to his sit, this amused Davis at Abner.
"You little rascal, when did you start making that?"
They both snickered, and Davis thought it was time.
"Well Abner," Said Davis as they both stood up, stretching their bodies, and Abner mumbled, "It's time right?"
Davis looks at Abner worried, they both knew that this is the last time to see each other, just maybe. They hugged each other, "Brother, thank you for everything" Davis whispered and Abner replied, "Same goes to you, my dear brother".
They broke the hug and Davis bid goodbye to his brother. When Abner saw his brother close the door, he sits and lay down on his bed. Thinking if this is the last time he will see them, he pulled off his sleeve and revealed a large gash on his left arm. The heavyweight on his heart flourished once again, he let out a big sigh coming from his lips and whispered "Why me?" then he falls asleep.
On the next day.
At the break of dawn, many soldiers scramble from their daily routine. As Abner walked toward his ride, he saw Davis, Willard, and Ashford talking. Someone blocked his path until he recognized the person standing before him.
"Maia, what are you doing there?" Asked Abner while he realized that there is something that he needed to give her before moving out, on the other hand, Maia give something to Abner. This surprised him until he saw a beautiful smile from Maia, A sudden bump, coming from his heart. He felt his cheek burning and the butterflies exploded, he wanted to hug Maia but, fortunately, he did.
The two didn't notice that they were being watched by everyone, Davis and Willard smiled at Abner and Ashford confused at the two. He called Davis' attention and he leaned to him, "Hey what's going between Abner and my sweet granddaughter?" He whispered. "They like each other general" he answered, this amused Ashford to see his grandniece's sudden love life, and wanted to learn more about Abner.
"Since the day when Abner joined us, sir".
"Hmmm, interesting". Grinned as Ashford continues watching them when Willard looks at Davis to see if there is any chance for Abner, they look at each other, and both nod that, he earns the blessing from the General himself. Abner and Maia broke their hug and blushed before Abner was going to say. They heard cheering around them.
"WAY TO GO ABNER!!"
"FINALLY, THEY DID IT!!"
"KYAA WAY TO GO MAIA!!!"
"THAT'S IT GIRL!!!"
This sudden commotion, caught Ashford off guard about his niece and Abner while looking around him. Saw many soldiers both men and women cheering for them. "Sgt. Davis, Cmdr. Willard. Care to enlighten me on what is going on?". Both men chuckled and they start talking about Abner and Maia's relationship.
Hours have passed as the column of vehicles left the base towards their objective.
As Abner looked through the window while riding the Humvee towards their destination, he remembers the letter that Maia gives him. He pulls out from his breast pocket and starts reading.
Dear Nathan Abner,
I know this is sudden, and I wanted to let you know that I love you. No matter how many words, and love I wanted to give you, I want to let you know that no matter where or when will you go back, or how far you are right now. I will always be there for you and love you with all of my heart and soul. Know this, I will always love you forever and ever my beloved Abner, please come home and stay safe always my love, promise me.
After he finished reading, a sudden warmth clocked around his heart, flattered and his cheeks redden as he replayed the letter again and again. He goes back watching through the window and knew that he will go back home no matter what. But he is aware that he cannot go home so easily.